The last page of the Good Housekeeping magazine.
That’s where it all started. At 10 years old, I was captivated by that last page, which contained all the submitted tips, tricks and home hacks from readers. As I was cutting them out, reorganizing them by category and gluing them into a “binder” of sorts, I knew then – I was a list girl.
The lunchroom of my first real job.
That’s where I met a friend that introduced me to the world of natural health. Mind you, I had a degree in public health, but this was much deeper than the prescriptive, “let’s just cure your symptoms” kind of health. This level of health was holistic. It took into account the physical body, but it much more comprehensively looked into one’s diet, heavy metals accumulation, exposure to EMFs, toxins in the home, pesticide use, and so on. I had just finished four years of schooling in this field, yet ironically, felt very uneducated with this new vocabulary list. Surprisingly, however, the concepts made perfect sense.
A Facebook Marketplace ad.
Amidst small talk while the husbands loaded a Joanna Gaines-inspired chicken coop onto our trailer, my husband and I realized we would leave with much more than another out building. We left with wisdom that only God could have orchestrated. Through the introduction to Courageous Parenting, an online parenting podcast to equip confident Christian kids, we started learning what it meant to parent intentionally. During late nights of fixing up our old farmhouse, we would proceed to binge 107 episodes and create a new notebook of Biblical parenting thoughts. By the next year, we had enrolled in their Parenting Mentorship Program which was the beginning of reshaping our family culture. This started with Biblical discipline and learning what it meant to, truly, breathe Jesus into our daily rhythms.
So what do organized lists, holistic health, and Biblical parenting have in common? A family culture. This was the missing piece to creating the habits and rhythms within our days that helped us define what a “Nelson” was. For the past 10 years I’ve been researching articles, listening to podcasts, and burning through highlighters. More importantly, though, we’re raising 3 kiddos that are learning to recognize and display the fruits of the Spirit.
During the last 7 years, we’ve had anywhere from 12-50 chickens, fixed up a 1928 farmhouse, and cultivated a significant garden and orchard. We harvest and preserve our yield, allowing us to eat a lot of our own food year-round.
Just like it was difficult to come up with the right words to start the initial paragraph to this page, it’s often hard to know where to start to change your family habits. Looking holistically at your family’s eating habits, spiritually growth, marriage health, home rhythms, influences, etc. - there’s too many facets and not enough time. It’s overwhelming. Where do you start?
These lists show you where I started 10 years ago. Hopefully they will be a guide (and by no means exhaustive) to give you more ideas, to spark a new habit, or to feed your vocabulary when you’re at the end of your rope. Let’s check some boxes together.
Organized. Holistic. Intentional.
GROWING KIDS IN GOD’S CHARACTER;
LIVING NATURALLY WITHIN GOD’S ORIGINAL DESIGN.